2014/02/28

Tutankhamun Shrines


The Golden Shrines of King Tutankhamun

Introduction about The Shrines :
Shrines were known since early dynastic period and the most famous ones were: 
  The Golden Shrines of King Tutankhamun


1-    The Heb Sed shrine: The roof of this shrine slopes from both ends towards the middle making a depression in between what looks like two hills. This reminds us of the Axt sign (meaning horizon), which represents two hills with the sun disk rising in the middle. The style of roof of the outermost shrine of Tutankhamun was modeled on this shrine.

 The Golden Shrines of King Tutankhamun

2-    The Shrine of the North known as pr-nw or pr-nsr. It was the shrine of goddess Wadjet, the Cobra goddess of Lower Egypt. Her cult centre was at Buto (p)known today as Tell el Fara3een in Kafr El-Sheikh. It has a vaulted roof with two vertical boards (one on either side) like the innermost shrine of Tutankhamun.
 The Golden Shrines of King Tutankhamun

3-    The Shrine of the South known as pr-wr. It was the shrine of goddess Nekhbet, the vulture goddess of Upper Egypt. Her cult centre was at Hierakonpolis (nxn), known nowadays as El-Kom El-Ahmar near El-kab, north of Aswan. Its roof was vaulted or sloping from one side bulging above the entrance, like the 2nd and 3rd shrines of Tutankhamun.
Description of the four shrines:
Ø     On the 17th of February 1923, Howard Carter demolished the bricked-up door of the burial chamber. The room was almost completely filled with a massive shrine, which he realized later that it was only the outermost of a total of four floorless shrines which lay inside one another and protected the quartizite sarcophagus of the king, housing his three coffins. They were arranged inside each other like Chinese boxes.

 The Golden Shrines of King Tutankhamun

Ø     They are made out of heavy panels of oak (6 cm thick) covered with gold leaf. The technique that they have been decorated with was that the wood was covered with plaster or gesso then gold leaves then it would be incised with inscriptions or drawings while it was still wet.
Ø     It had been suggested that the function of these shrines was to replace the long corridors normally found in 18th and 19th dynasty tombs, as the tomb of Tutankhamun was not big enough to include all the required inscriptions to guarantee his protection in the afterlife.
Ø     The shrines were assembled in the burial chamber inside out because none of them would have possibly passed through the door of its previous one neither through the door of the tomb itself or that of the burial chamber. They were also removed out of the tomb the same way but in reverse order. The difficult task of dismantling the shrines took about 84 days.
Ø     The shrines have been hastily assembled in a way that they were orientated contrary to the directions painted on them, as the four sides of the shrines were meant to face the four cardinal points and the doors face the west, but when they were discovered they were facing the east. (Most probably they didn’t fit except that way).
Ø     On the four shrines there is a text (mainly from the Book of the Dead) which begins from the innermost shrine which is nearest to the king’s body and ends at the outermost one.
Ø     The first shrine is known as the Outermost shrine or the biggest shrine while the fourth shrine is known as the Innermost or the smallest shrine.
Ø     Each shrine has double doors which were held shut by means of ebony bolts sliding within massive silver-coated copper staples. They were sealed with the necropolis seal except for the innermost one. The outermost shrine had been opened in antiquity; probably by tomb robbers but the rest were intact which lead Howard Carter to believe that whatever he was going to see from the 2nd shrine onwards has never been seen before since the time of the pharaohs.




The 1st Shrine (The Outermost shrine)
 
As we mentioned before, when Carter removed the blocked doorway that separated the burial chamber from the antechamber, he was surprised by what appeared to be a wall of gold; this wall was not more than the outermost of the four floorless shrines. 
 The Golden Shrines of King Tutankhamun

The dimensions of this shrine are 5.8 m long x 3.75 m wide x 2.75 m high. It is decorated with gold leaves inlaid with brilliant blue faience. If we take a side view at the upper part of the shrine, we can see that its roof takes the shape of the Axt (the Horizon) or the Heb-Sed pavilion decorated with two cobras with multiple coils, tail to tail with outstretched wings (one on either side). Just under the roof, there is a representation of the winged solar disc. Beneath this, there is torus moulding decoration.
Its external side has the least amount of inscriptions among the four shrines. It is mostly decorated with representations of the Djed pillar, sign of god Osiris, sign of stability and resurrection and the Tyet (Knot of Isis) sign of goddess Isis, sign of fertility and regeneration. A pair of protective Udjet eyes decorates the southern wall. They are either for protection or to allow the deceased king to have external communication with the outer world.
The Doors:
The right leaf of the door is decorated with a representation of a headless animal with its front paw-less legs tied together, this might represent the danger that the king is going to overcome in the afterlife. The left leaf has a representation of a seated deity holding in his hand the anx sign with a composite crown on his head. Another theory suggested by Alexander Piankoff states that the seated figure is the osirid king thus representing Osiris but the inscriptions read Hr nD it.f  which means Horus the Avenger of his father so maybe Osiris is equated with Horus in his capacity to be reborn, while the headless and paw-less animal obviously represents the evil god Seth.

Interior of the Shrine:
The internal surfaces of the shrine are heavily inscribed with spells from the Book of the Dead. On the doors, right and left are spells from chapters 134 and 141 of the Book of the Dead. At the back panel, there is the 1st appearance of the Book of the Divine cow. This book tells the story of the Destruction of Mankind. It is very hard to see what is inscribed there, but we can see the figures of the cow goddess Hathor, Shu and other deities.
The Frame and the Pall:

 The Golden Shrines of King Tutankhamun
Between this shrine and the next one, a wooden framework covered with a sheet (pall) of dark linen decorated with gilded bronze rosettes was found. There is a theory which suggests that the dark linen covering the shrine was an indication of the night sky and the rosettes represent the stars. There is a model showing the way this frame was originally found, which is displayed inside the showcase.

The 2nd Shrine
 
The dimensions of this shrine are 3.74 m long, 2.35 m wide and 2.25 m high. Its roof takes the shape of the
pr-wr (predynastic shrine of the south). The roof is decorated with a winged solar disk in the centre and two winged serpents with multiple coils on the sides.
The Doors:
The king is represented on either leaves of the door; on the right side: he is represented holding the flail, his head adorned with two horns, a disk and two feathers and a larger disk above him. He is accompanied by MAat, goddess of Justice and Truth. In front of him, there is a representation of an altar with a vase and a bunch of lotus flowers. Facing him stands RaHrAxty depicted with a falcon head and the solar disk on his head. He is holding the Was scepter in one hand and the Ankh sign in the other.
On the left side: the king is represented holding the crook and the flail, wearing the double crown and above his head is the solar disk. He is accompanied with Isis and in front of him there is an altar with a vase and a bunch of lotus flowers. Facing him is Osiris holding the crook and flail.

The Back:
At the back of the shrine there is a representation of Isis and Nephtys outstretching their wings and standing on the nbw sign.
This shrine is incised with spells from the Book of the Dead plus a very mysterious funerary book. This book is considered unique, though there seems to be some similarities to two scenes from the Imyduat and the Book of Gates.
Egyptologists believe that this composition deals at one side with what is known as the Enigmatic Book of the Netherworld and on the other side with the Creation and Refilling of the solar disk with fire during the night. This is the first instance of a composition describing the creation of the new solar disk.
These two books have an obscure nature with text that was not translated into normal hieroglyphs. This is evident from the fact that the texts that accompany some of the illustrations are cryptographic (coded) in order to preserve the secrecy of the formulae. However, it should be noted that other compositions exist that are also labeled “enigmatic” mostly from 20th dynasty tombs such as Ramsses VI and Ramsses IX.
This Enigmatic Book explains what happened to the solar disk in the night (after the death of the sun and it turned into " iwf " or the dead sun). This book told us that in the region of death, the dead sun passes by, or through, the bodies of the gods who reside there. Their bodies remain in the dark while their souls follow the sun in its journey. In other words, in the region of death the sun collects new energy for its rebirth in the morning.
The roof is decorated with a winged solar disk "Hr bHdty" in the center and two winged serpents with multiple coils on the sides.
The Sides:
The Right side: The text is divided into three registers, similar to the more familiar Imyduat but the solar bark is absent. However, just as in the Book of Caverns, the sun god’s presence is represented by ram-headed bird within a sun disk on this side, and by only a sun disk on the Left side. The order of the two sections of the book is defined by two boundary posts. Another indication of the order of the two sections is that darkness and the Place of Annihilation dominate the first section, which has only two large sun disks containing ram-headed birds, whereas light plays a major role in the second section, which is dominated by rays of light that came from disks, stars, and serpents. We really do not know if there were additional sections to the book or not.  Thus the right side of this shrine represents the darkness whereas the light plays a major role on the left side.
The Golden Shrines of King Tutankhamun
We start at the far right: The scene begins with a similar scene as in the 1st hour of the Book of the Gates. It consists of a “head of Re” topping the jackal-headed “neck of Re”, which symbolizes the sun god’s creative power. The first two scenes in the upper and lower registers each display eight deities. Those in the upper register are in the “caverns of the Duat” and reside in darkness, while those of the lower register; their souls are able to accompany the sun god. The upper register deities are represented with different headdresses. The 1st one is human, 2nd cow, 3rd cobra, 4th and 5th are very particular because they are represented in frontal view (this was uncommon in Egyptian art but later popular in Greco-Roman art), the 6th lion head, the 7th cat head and the 8th antelope head. Piankoff (a famous Egyptologist) had suggested that these beings symbolize the different transformations undergone by the sun god while passing through the Netherworld. He appears to believe that those in the bottom register, which are split between two groups of four, with the chests of the four at the front having the shape of the scarab, a symbol for renewal, indicate that the process of transformation is complete.
The main scene here in the middle is probably the king in mummified form (though it had been suggested that it is a combination of Osiris and Re). He is encircled by two serpents at the top around his head and at the bottom around his feet, this serpent is called mHn, the Enveloper and his function is to protect the king’s head and feet. This figure of the king is named “He who hides the Horus”, where Horus here probably represents the reborn king. In the middle of the stomach we can see a sun disk and inside it a ram-headed bird representing the dead sun or the night sun (iwf literally meaning flesh). There is a group of seven deities who stand in adoration and seem to be trying to pull the sun disk using a rope from the body of the mummiform figure.
After the central scene, there are three scenes arranged vertically. In the upper register, seven goddesses within their coffins gaze upon the rays of the sun and follow the sun god with their ba-souls. The middle register was explained before (the 7 deities pulling the sun disk with rope). The lowest register is flanked by two guardians and its caption again refers to the Place of Annihilation. However, Re lights up this region "with his voice", so that its inhabitants may breathe. There is also a human-headed serpent that is coiled several times around two sarcophagi that contain the corpses of Osiris and Re. Here, a large oval containing hands has been read as "coffer".
The Left side: There are 3 registers, each contains 3 scenes. Here the sun god is depicted by means of sun disks in each scene where the disks are usually connected to the figures in front of them by means of rays of light (or fire). This is the section dealing with the refilling of the sun with energy at night.
The Golden Shrines of King Tutankhamun
At the far left, we can see the depiction of 4 pairs of arms; 2 at the top and 2 at the bottom, the two at the top are coming out of the sky while the two at the bottom are coming out of the ground. They are supporting two sun disks each with a ram-headed bird representing the dead sun (iwf). There is a theory that suggests that this scene is a part of the symbolic summary of the daily course of the sun that is kept in motion by means of the four pairs of arms. At the very end of the scene, we find serpents, the heads of four Negau-cattle, together with goddesses making a gesture of praise, an Osiris figure and an “arm of Re”. Some scholars recognize all this as the end of the composition, though others prefer to see it as the beginning, because of a very similar depiction on the ceiling of the corridor G in the tomb of Ramsses VI.
Moving further, we find the scene divided into 3 registers as mentioned before, above them is a line of hieroglyphic inscriptions.
The 1st register: It starts with a cobra spitting fire to a group of 6 mummified divinities. Each one is fronted by a ba-bird and has a star above its head that spits fire to the next divinity while the first one receives the fire directly from the cobra. According to the text, this is the light of Re, which enters them. After this the second scene in the upper register begins with a cat. Next, there are seven headless figures. They are fronted by their faces, which are depicted in frontal view; however, in each case the face is inserted between a star and a sun disk with rays. They are flooded with light from the rays of the sun disks above them. Apparently, this scene refers to the separation and rejoining of the head and the body. In the final scene of the upper register, six deities each stands on a MHn-serpent, which helps with his regeneration, aided by light from a sun disk in front of them.
The 2nd register: The caption of the beginning scene of the middle register mentions the ram-headed dead sun, and here, we find depicted a mummy that has turned itself over and is extending a hand to the dead sun (iwf). A serpent that is flooded by light springs from the feet of the mummy. After this, there are four beings with lion heads. We cannot see their arms, and from similar material in the sixth hour of the Book of Gates, we may conclude that they might be carrying the corpse of the sun. The last scene in the middle register is almost identical to the second scene, though now with six lion-headed figures. In each of these scenes, light from a sun disk surmounting a pair of legs enters the mouths of these creatures.
The 3rd register: A cobra spits fire (or light) that in every case is received by a lion’s head and, in turn, is emitted again by a cobra next to it. This light floods over six Osiris figures that, we are informed by the caption, are “clothed” with the light of Re. Sail hieroglyphs that signify wind or breath in front of them indicate that the Osiris figures have been granted breath. The middle scene of the lower register starts out with a lion that, like the cat in the upper register, is rising out of the earth, which hides a serpent. Afterwards, there are six mummiform figures with ram heads, and the caption here indicates that the deceased king is the object of their attention. In the last scene we see six goddesses. Each of them receives light from a disk and in turn, lets it pour from their hands onto the head of a serpent named “Evil of Face”.

The 3rd Shrine

The dimensions of this shrine are 3.40 m long x 1.92 m wide x 2.15 m high. Its roof takes the shape of pr-wr (shrine of the South). The scenes on the 3rd shrine are mainly protective scenes as they represent the guardians of the king and not the genies as the 2nd shrine. 
The Golden Shrines of King Tutankhamun


The Doors and the Back:
There is a representation of four guardians; one is represented with a crocodile head, another with a lion head over which are two cobras and holding two knives (one in each hand) flanked by two ram-headed guardians. Some of the guardians are holding together with the knife some sort of plant scepter (reed). This scene is repeated at the back of the shrine; the only difference is that there is a guardian with an antelope head and another with a human head in between the two ram-headed guardians. The scenes are accompanied with extracts from chapter 147 of the Book of the Dead. At the top there is the winged solar disc (Horus of Behdet).
The Sides:
Inside, the ceiling is decorated with the winged sun disk and seven vultures with outspread wings holding the Shen sign. One of the vultures has the head of a snake. Below them is the representation of a flying hawk symbolizing the king. On the doors and on the rear panel, Isis and Nephtys protect the inside of the shrine with outstretched wings. On the right panel are two Udjet eyes and a procession of gods: Hapy, Anubis, Quebehsenewef, Geb and Nut. On the left panel are Nut facing Amsty, Anubis, Duametef, Geb and Horus Nedjitef. Thus, when the shrines were in place, the procession of gods on the exterior of shrine 4 faced the procession of gods on the interior of shrine 3.
The sides of the 3rd shrine represent the 2nd and 6th hours of the Imyduat, as follows:

The Left Exterior Panel:
It represents the 2nd hour of the Imyduat and is divided into 3 registers. Starting from left to right on the first register we can see a row of five guardians holding knives in their hands and seated on invisible chairs: one with human head, ram head, ibis head, baboon head and lion head. They are holding the knives in order to attack and destroy any dangers that may face the king in the afterlife. These guardians are followed by a human guardian who is holding a Kherep scepter instead of the knife, a falcon head with a ureas on his head and another human figure again with a knife in his hand ready to smite an enemy. Behind them are two baboon-headed figures followed by a double-faced figure: a falcon head and a human head. It had been suggested that this deity represented Horus and Seth together in the same body which is very unusual. Another theory suggests that he is a guardian who is represented with double face in order to be more effective against danger or maybe this figure was meant to be a good spirit and a destructive spirit at the same time. This fashion of representing a double face was later used in the Graeco-Roman period. In the same register there are female figures holding the Was scepter followed by a lion figure, a female, a lady with the Dw sign upon her head (maybe representing the western dessert) and goddesses one wearing the white crown (HDt) and one the red crown (dSrt).
The main scene in the middle register is the night journey of the deceased king disguised as the ram-headed dead sun (iwf) standing under a pavilion. He is preceded and followed by guardians and divinities the most important of which is Hathor with her title of nbt dpt (lady of the boat) in front of him, Sia the watcher and wepwawut (the opener of the way) and a falcon-headed deity behind him. At the prow of the ship, there is a representation of 2 cobras representing goddesses Isis and Nephtys or maybe the North and the South. In front of the solar boat there are 4 more boats, the 1st is empty except for two trees, these are probably two ears of corn because this boat is normally the boat of the corn deity Npr, the 2nd boat its prow and stern take the shapes of the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt, inside the boat there are 2 depictions of the Kherep scepter flanking a crocodile (or maybe some other kind of reptile similar to the crocodile). The boat in front of it has a scarab at the prow while the stern has a mummified head with 2 feathers and the boat carries a representation of a cult object of Hathor which is the sistrum. At the front there is a fourth boat with a kneeling deity holding the Maat feather in front of him is a crescent moon surmounted by the lunar disk. The 3rd register depicts other deities related to the 2nd hour of the Imyduat.
The Right Exterior Panel:
It represents the 6th hour of the Book of the lmyduat. The first register from left to right show some of the divinities of the 6th hour seated on an invisible seats, one of them is seated and upon his head the signs of tA and Hnqt then one with red crown then one with a human head, in front of him is a falcon-headed deity then a baboon-headed deity then a mummy form and some other divinities and at the end is a group of 9 HqA scepters; 3 of them with the white crown, 3 with the red crown and 3 with a cobra.
The main scene in the middle register is the solar boat with the king camouflaged as the ram-headed dead sun (iwf) inside his shrine in his night journey. He is represented in a human body and the head of a ram and the solar disk at the top of his head, in front of him is goddess Hathor with the title of nbt-dpt (the lady of the boat) preceded by a divinity called (siA) which means the watcher and in front of him a divinity called (wp wAwt) meaning opener of the way. Behind the sun god there is a falcon-headed deity and the rest of the crew, the most important of them is “xrp” who is the helmsman, as he is the one responsible for steering the boat. After the boat, there is a baboon-headed figure holding an ibis in his hand (this represents two forms of god Djehwty or Thoth). Then there is a female figure holding two nw jars, four male figures with the white crown, four male figures with nothing on their heads then four male figures with the red crown (these figures probably represent the dead king).
In the third register (from left to right) there are two crocodile-headed figures along with 4 smaller crocodiles. In front of them are six standing male figures and two seated female figures. A huge snake is then represented with 4 human heads penetrating its body; these heads are probably the four sons of Horus emerging from the mHn snake. In front of it there are two seated figures.

The 4th Shrine (The Innermost Shrine)

The dimensions of this shrine are 2.90 m long x 1.48 m wide and 1.90 m high. Its roof takes the shape of pr-nw (the shrine of the North). It is the innermost shrine and the nearest to the sarcophagus that’s why higher rank of protective deities are represented on its walls (as the nearer we come to the body of the king, the more protection is needed). 

The Golden Shrines of King Tutankhamun

The Ceiling
On the interior of the ceiling is depicted Nut spreading her wings over the deceased while on the right and the left stands two winged figures of Horus above three nbw signs, then lower down there are two jackals of Anubis recline on pylons. While the exterior has representation (from left to right) of two Udjet eyes above pylon-shaped buildings, kneeling figures of Isis, Nephtys, Selkit and Neith followed by two figures of Anubis and a winged vulture and a winged serpent.
The doors and the back:
At the doors and the back there is a similar scene starting with the winged solar disk with 2 serpents one with the red crown and the other with the white crown for protection at the top. Then there is a representation of goddess Isis and goddess Nephtys with outstretched wings to protect the deceased king.  On the inside of the doors are two winged figures of Isis and Nephtys outstretching their wings. The interior is inscribed with chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead; the text starts at the back wall, continues on the right and ends on the left wall.
The sides:
On the Left side: (From left to right) There is Geb, followed by Dwamutef but represented with a falcon head (probably a mistake or because during the 18th dynasty. It had been recorded that there seemed to be an interchange between some of the heads and names of the 4 sons of Horus), then Anubis imywt and Amsty flanked on both sides with god DHwty (Thoth).
On the Right side: (From left to right) There is a similar scene also with god DHwty (Thoth) on both sides flanking Hapy (one of the 4 sons of Horus), Anubis xnty sH nTr, Quebehsenwef (here represented human-headed for similar reasons as mentioned before) followed by Horus in his form as Hr nD.it.f (Horus the Avenger of his Father).
N.B. All deities are accompanied by their names written in hieroglyphics after the Dd mdu in formula.






Tutankhamun Fan

 The Ostrich Feather Fan or the hand fan of Tutankhamun

The fan was a sign of royalty and carried in processions behind the pharaoh to protect him from the sun. Several were also sometimes fixed to the sides of the throne. The position of “His Majesty’s fan bearer” was one of the most sought after positions in the royal court. Moreover, in a country as hot as Egypt, the presence of fans was an utter necessity. 

Tutankhamun Fan

There were two types of fans known in ancient Egypt:
1.     Private fans: to be held by the person himself.
2.     Tall ceremonial fans: were made of gilded wood and had ostrich feathers. They were used in courts or wars or in royal processions and religious ceremonies held by fan bearers in order to provide the king with cool breeze.

In the tomb of Tutankhamun we found 8 fans, 7 of them tall ones and one private ostrich feather fan. They were found in between the Burial Chamber, the Annexe and the Treasury.

Description of the fan:

This one in front of us is a private fan. It was found in a small white painted box in the Treasury. It is made out of ostrich feathers. They are arranged in two layers: white or pale cream feathers and a shorter row of brown feathers.

Significance of choosing the ostrich feathers is that it used to be the symbol of goddess Maat, goddess of Truth and Justice because the hairs on both sides of the feather are equal in number which refers to justice.

The ancient Egyptians brought the ostriches from the deserts of Memphis and Heliopolis as the king was fond of hunting.

The handle is made of ivory. It was designed taking a perpendicular (right-angled) shape to minimize the effort made by the king for fanning himself. It is decorated at the end with a papyrus umbel and at the top with representation of lotus flower. Above the flower there is a semi-circular shape including names of the king sA- Ra name and Nswt-bity name.

2014/02/18

Ancient Egyptian Pectoral

Ancient Egyptian Gilded Wood Pectoral

A fine pectoral of a high official made of gilded wood, to imitate a real gold pectoral. It is in the form of a shrine topped by the cornice.  The pectoral is ornamented with three inlaid amulets : the Djed pillar, symbol of stability and endurance to the left, the scarab of the morning sun in the middle and the Sa, symbol of protection to the right. Thus, the deceased is assured of stability, resurrection, and the protection of the gods, living or dead. The pectoral has a chain of beads of semi-precious stones.

Pectoral of Gilded Wood

High officials of the New Kingdom could not afford to have gold pectorals, so craftsmen created pectorals, similar to the golden royal ones, but made of gilded wood and inlaid them with semi-precious stones, glass or frit.


Tutankhamun Diadem


This gold diadem was designed to secure the wig of the king during ceremonies and to protect his forehead in the hereafter. It is a multicolored masterpiece, decorated with gold cloisonnes inlaid with circles of carnelian and edged with inlays of turquoise, lapis lazuli, and blue glass. At the center front are the protective deities of Upper and Lower Egypt: the vulture goddess, Nekhbet, with inlaid obsidian eyes, and the cobra goddess, Wadjet, inlaid with semiprecious stones and glass. The papyrus flowers on either side are of malachite and the knot at the back is of chalcedony.


Concealed beneath the gold mask, which covered the head and shoulders of Tutankhamun's mummy, was an elegant gold diadem, closely resembling in style the diadem worn by the king in two of the scenes represented on the small gold shrine found in his tomb. Very probably it was used in his lifetime, placed over a wig. The vulture's head and the cobra, insignia of his sovereignty over Upper and Lower Egypt, were not transferred from one diadem to another - a feature that would suggest that this diadem was one of a set.

Tutankhamun Diadem

Interchangeability of such a kind was, however, unusual and is hard to explain, unless it was by reason of the amount of valuable material contained in the insignia. Apart from the obsidian eyes, the vulture's head is made of solid gold, its wrinkled occiput, and short, stiff parietal feathers at the back of the neck giving it a most lifelike appearance. The cobra's head and hood are inlaid with lapis lazuli, faience, carnelian, and glass, and the long, curly tail, chase to imitate the serpent's scales, is curved to fit over the top of the wig. On the front of the hood, crossing the central markings, is the emblem of the goddess Neith. When wrapping the mummy, the embalmers did not attach the vulture's head and the cobra to the diadem, possibly because the mask would not have fitted over them, but placed them lower on the body, the vulture's head over the right (southern) thigh and the cobra over the left thigh.

The vulture-goddess Nekhbet, whose name means "She who belongs to Nekheb," was originally simply the local goddess of Nekheb, the modern Elkab on the east bank of the Nile, about halfway between Luxor and Aswan. She owed her importance in dynastic times to her previous adoption by the predynastic kings of Upper Egypt, whose seat lay at Nekhen (Hierakonpolis) across the river from Nekheb. According to tradition, the last of these kings, Menes, completed the conquest of Lower Egypt, the patron deity of whose kings was the cobra-goddess Wadjet, and united the two kingdoms under his sovereignty in about 3100 B.C. The vulture and the cobra thus became the symbols of this unification and also the tutelary deities of the kings. Their heads were often placed side by side on the front of the headdresses worn by kings on state occasions, and on the headdresses of their statues and other representations. Frequently the entire cobra was reproduced in this setting. It is said that the species of vulture (Gyps fulvus) has its habitat at the present day in Middle and Upper Egypt and further south, but is seldom seen in Lower Egypt.

Circlets were a common feature in Egyptian dress, worn by both men and women, regardless of class and at every period. In origin their purpose was purely utilitarian, a device to confine the hair and prevent it from falling over the eyes. A simple band of rope or fabric tied in a knot at the back of the head gave all the protection necessary. Scenes carved on the walls of Old Kingdom tombs depict boatmen holding long staves in their hands and wearing such circlets while engaged in mock combat. The first step in the process of development from the simple to the ornamental was certainly taken, albeit unconsciously, when flowers, usually the blue lotus and its buds, were inserted between the band and the head. Besides being ornamental, the insertion of flowers, and particularly the blue lotus, surrounded the wearer with a fragrant and refreshing aroma, though doubtless of very limited duration in a hot climate. Banqueting scenes regularly show the female participants, whether guests, attendants, or musicians, wearing floral circlets on the crowns of their wigs, sometimes with a fresh supply in reserve placed in a dish nearby. Even in this developed form the circlet still fulfilled its original function of keeping the hair, or the wig, in position.

Once the circlet had assumed an ornamental character, its reproduction in more costly and permanent materials as an object of adornment was a natural consequence. But the use of such materials necessitated the stylization of the individual features, and Tutankhamun's diadem provides a very clear example of the way in which the adaptation could be accomplished. The gold headband is decorated with carnelian roundels (some of which are modern) in contiguous cloisons, each roundel being attached by a central rivet capped with a gold cloison inlaid with a disk of red chalcedony and the bow being in the form of two papyrus umbel cloisons inlaid with malachite. The two ends of the band hang down beneath the know as streamers, each decorated in the same fashion as the band itself. Two ribbon-like appendages at the sides resemble the streamers in their decoration, but they are wider and each ribbon has a massive gold cobra attached to its front edge. These two features and the royal insignia over the brow are the only elements in the diadem that are not adapted directly from the floral circlet with a beaded headband.

Tutankhamun Bow Case

The Bow Case of King Tutankhamun


The Bow Case of King Tutankhamun


Bows and arrows discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun.Although Tutankhamun may never have participated in any battle or even any hunting campaign, he was portrayed charging enemies from his chariot and hunting animals with bow and arrow.

There were many hunting and warfare objects found in the king's tomb, such as bows and arrows of different styles, bow-strings of twisted gut, a pair of slings of woven fabric, and parts of horn wrist protectors.

This bow case of Tutankhamun has faience extremities and is decorated on both back and front with hunting scenes embossed in sheet gold.

The king, riding in his chariot and accompanied by his hunting hounds, is aiming his arrows at ibex, or wild goats, and oryx, or African antelopes. A hyena is also shown attacking a fallen gazelle. Bands of hieroglyphs of royal names and epitaphs run around the edges.


2014/02/17

Tutankhamun Pendant

Vulture Pendant of Tutankhamun


Tutankhamun's mummy wrappings contained his personal possessions. This necklace was suspended from his neck in the eleventh or twelfth layer, close to the mummy, and therefore very probably it was a piece that he had worn during his lifetime. The pendant consist of a representation of the vulture-goddess of Upper Egypt, Nekhbet, with the outer ends of the wings folded downwards resembling a cloak.

It is made of solid gold encrusted on the obverse with blue glass, apart from the lesser coverts of the wings, which are encrusted with red glass edged with green, and the tips of the tail feathers, which are also encrusted with red glass.

Vulture of Tutankhamun


In its talons it holds the hieroglyphic shen sign, inlaid with carnelian and blue glass. The gold head, turned sideways, and the neck are delicately rendered in a most realistic manner, the effect being heightened by the wrinkled occiput, the obsidian eyes, and the lapis lazuli beak. On the chased reverse a miniature necklace and pendant are modeled in high relief.

The pendant is composed of the king's cartouche surmounted by the sun's disk and ostrich plumes, flanked by two uraei. Fastenings for the suspension chains are attached to the upper edges of the wings.

Tut Crook and Flail

 King Tut Crook and Flail

These emblems were found separately in the hall the crook and flail in the Treasury. The beam is historically the most interesting because it deals with the gold cap at the base of the handle name of the king in its early form Tutankhaton with his throne name Nebkheperura, showing that he had belonged to him then that he was still a child, but after he had ascended the throne. Since a plague was one of the symbols held by the kings of Egypt in some of their coronation ceremonies, there is at least possible that this object was used by the real scourge Tutankhaton in his coronation at Amarna, when he was about nine years before he was crowned at Karnak.

 The scammer is listed on both terminals with the caps the throne name only - a difference that, in spite of equal size of two objects, may indicate that they were not originally made as a pair. A second pair and an odd crook, all the greatest, were found in the same wooden box as this plague. All three crooks are composed of alternating cylindrical sleeves of metal covered with gold and dark blue glass on a bronze core. The grip of the plague, as far as the sleeve upward angle, is composed of the same, but the gold beads in the strips of the rudder have wood cores.

 King Tut Crook and Flail


Although the crook and flail were most often represented as emblems of the god Osiris, they were also conducted on some of the ceremonies, in addition to the coronation, the reigning Pharaoh. Very occasionally, the swindler was organized by the viceroys of Nubia and also by viziers. A painted scene of tribute from Asia in the tomb of Tutankhamun viceroy of Nubia, Huy, shows the king holding both the crook and flail in his left hand and the sign of "life" (ankh ) in the right, while the Viceroy holds a crook, but not evil, in his left hand and a single ostrich plume in his right. Only rarely is the scourge shown in the hands of priests or officials and bodies such are limited to scenes of royal jubilee festivals. 

 Despite these sporadic exceptions, the crook and flail were essentially Osirian emblems, if possible, if not the cause. Osiris is suspected of having acquired Andjeti, the local god of the city in the Delta Djedu named, who was represented in human form with two feathers on the head and keeping the crook and flail in his hands . At a very early date in Egyptian history Osiris absorbed Andjeti and adopted his badge. Osiris, however, was seen not only as a god, but also as a deified king deceased and therefore his badge, especially the crook and flail, were treated as symbols of royalty.

It is not difficult to imagine how a shepherd's crook could have acquired the symbolic meaning of domination. His name in Egyptian is heqat and most common word for "rule" is heqa. Naturally it was compared with the butt, the Christian pastoral staff. A plague (called nekhakha), however, seems out of character for a kind and benevolent god like Osiris and for this reason some authorities prefer to regard it as a ladanisterion, an instrument used as a scourge, to this day by the shepherds in the Mediterranean region and elsewhere to collect labdanum, a gummy substance excreted by the leaves of the plant Cistus. According to classical authors, it was used in the preparation of incense and ointments.


 This suggestion, proposed by the late Professor PE Newberry contributed to the clearance of Tutankhamun's tomb, is plausible, but, still, there is no clear evidence that the plant grew in Egypt in Cistus Pharaonic times.

Tutankhamun Trumpet

The Trumpet Of King Tutankhamun

Showcase housing one of the most important item and what was considered to be as a master piece , it's a musical instrument ,it is known as the "trumpet". The trumpet was called Snb in ancient Egypt. We are not sure whether the musical instruments were  part of the funerary equipments or not because most of the royal burial had been robbied and only the tomb of Tutankhamen contained which had some musical instruments

 Our main concern was directed to the trumpet here ,the trumpet is considered as masterpiece because it's the only thing which we can hear like the ancient Egyptians has heard exactly that's why when Howard carter excavated the tomb, he decided to use the trumpet and he heard the same sound that the ancient Egyptians had heard, 1000 years ago so this is the only link between us and the ancient Egyptians

Tutankhamun Trumpet

Tutankhamun Trumpet

Tutankhamun Trumpet

Tutankhamun Trumpet

Tutankhamun Trumpet




 In ancient Egypt We have different types of musical instruments:

 The first type is known as percussion musical instrument: This was a kind of musical instrument which creates a rythem like the" sistrum and the clappers". such as the two sistra which were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen and two clappers which you can see downstairs in the showcase which is housing the games dating back to the archaic period .Then the second type of musical instruments was known as string musical instruments such as the harp and in the tomb of Tutankhamen we don't have an example for string musical instruments.The third type of musical instrument is known as the blowing or the .

And among these category we have the horn and the trumpets.Our main concern was directed to the trumpet which is considered to be from the blowing or wind musical instruments. Its main usage was in the different ceremonies or in the battle field as it was for announcement of the start of the battle.The trumpet was made out of 2 parts; the tube& the bell.The tube is made out of wood gilded and the bell is made out of copper or bronze..The bell is decorated with a scene representing King Tutankhamen in front of three divinities who were: Amen, Rahorakhty&ptah.

So why specially these divinities were depicted here? The scholars started searching and and studying why?? As there was connection between the trumpet and the 3divinties, they started thinking about the main uses of the trumpet to announce for the beginning of the battle so they thought that there was a certain connection between the 3 deities and the army. The scholars mentioned that before the reign of king Tutankhamen ,king TuthmosisШdivided the army into 3 parts(the heart and the two wings)

While, after the reign of King Tutankhamen king RamessesП divided the army into 4divisions, upon each divine he placed a deity. These divinities were imn, ra, ptah&Seth they were upon the head of the4 divisions of Egyptian army. Some scholars suggested that may be during the reign of king Tutankhamen the army was divided into 3 parts and each divinity upon apart that's why the king was depicted in front of these three divinities who were imn , Rahorakhty&ptah

Then concerning the bell we can see that there is a wooden stopper inserted inside this bell to retain it's shape, because this bell is made out of a thin layer of metal so it can be easily damaged Other scholars believed that this stopper had another usage which is: having to put a piece of cloth upon the stopper to clean the core of the bell or may be to prevent the dust from entering the core of the bell.

Trumpet was used all over the country except in two nomes; they were Busiris&Letopolis why??  These 2 nomes believed that the sound created by the trumpet is the sound of the braying of the donkey and this sound resembled the sound of god Seth (god of evil). So they refused completely to hear the sound of the trumpet as they were the two main cult centers of god Osiris, so the trumpet was creating the sound of Seth (the murderer of god Osiris)

The most famous scene where we can see the trumpet was depicted in the temple of king RamessesШ at Madient Habu where it represents the first soldier holding the trumpet creating its sound to encourage the soldiers to fight more bravely and to cross the wall of an Asiatic fortress The trumpet is a musical instrument which was used during the military activities, it was used mainly to announce the beginning of the battle and to encourage the soldiers during the wars and we have several scenes representing the trumpet in ancient Egypt.

In the tomb of king Tutankhamen we have 3 trumpets 2 of them were found in the antechamber while the 3rd was found in the burial chamber, The example in front of us here was found in the burial chamber and it was wrapped with reeds.Some scholars believed that it wasn't the original place of this trumpet, but others said it was its original place due to it's importance that's why they placed it, just near his burial place.The two other trumpets one of them exhibited now in the Louver museum and the other in restoration

This showcase also comprises two walking sticks and also some other handless of fans .Some were made out of wood gilded and others were from ebony and ivory and they were decorated with the names& titles of King Tutankhamen.



2014/02/16

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Osirus

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Osirus

Egyptian God Osirus

Osirus was the eldest son of Geb and Nut . The brother of Nepthys ,Seth and Isis . He His brother Set is his enemy. Osirus was brother and husband of Isis and they have a child, Horus.

Osirus was a god of death and rebirth. On the one hand, he is the Lord of the Underworld, where he sits and passes judgment on the souls of the dead. On the other hand, he is responsible for the periodic flooding of the Nile River, and therefore, the fertility of the land.

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Osirus

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Osirus

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Osirus

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Osirus
 
Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Osirus

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Osirus


Egyptian Gods and Goddesses - Osirus



Osirus was typically depicted as a green faced mummy wearing the atef crown and carrying the crook and flail, all symbols of a ruler .As well as being a god of the dead, Osiris was a god of resurrection and fertility .

The ancient Egyptians believed that Osiris gave them the gift of barley, one of their most important crops. A large temple was built to honour Osiris at Abydos.